Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson commands admiration with his passionate playing, combining explosive virtuosity with intellectual discipline. He has won all of the most important music awards in his homeland, including the Icelandic Optimism Award. For the 2016/2017 season the pianist has scheduled performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, with the Orkester Norden under the direction of Lawrence Foster and with the MDR Sinfonieorchester under the direction of Kristjan Järvi. He has also planned recitals in the Berlin and Vienna Konzerthaus, in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and at the International Music Festival in Istanbul.
He has worked together with famous composers, including Philip Glass, Mark Simpson and Daníel Bjarnason, having first performances of no less than five piano concertos to his credit. He can be heard playing in the company of such renowned artists as Roman Signer, Lillevan and Yann Malka, Sayaka Shoji, Pekka Kuusisto, István Várdai and Martin Fröst. He willingly takes part in innovative projects, such as the production of a television series devoted to classical music, titled “Útúrdúr” (“Out of Tune”), broadcast in 2013-2014 by Iceland’s public television and enthusiastically received by critics and viewers alike.
In 2009 established his own record label, Dirrindí Music, on which he has released two of his solo albums. The first received excellent reviews and is devoted to the music of Bach and Chopin. The second, recorded together with excellent Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson is a CD and DVD set of Schubert’s Winterreise. The album was named “Album of the Year” at the Icelandic Music Awards ceremony in 2012. In 2015 the artist took part in the recording of the complete works of Igor Stravinsky for the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Víkingur Olafsson spent his childhood and teenage years in Iceland where he studied under the tutelage of Erli Stefánsdóttir and Peter Máté. He also graduated from the New York Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald. In 2012 Vikingur Olafsson established the Reykjavík Midsummer Music festival, in which he holds the post of artistic director. In 2016 he replaced Martin Fröst on the post of artistic director of the Vinterfest festival in Sweden.